and generous buffet breakfast on four mornings. If we had children along, there would have been many op- portunities for the adults to leave them in supervised activities.
In general terms, Westgate Lakes is a concrete jungle. Perhaps when it is all built out, they will think of about landscaping, but for now, there is noth- ing appealing about the outside appear- ance. I expect that all of the other new units are comparable to the great one we occupied, but not many have such a view. Some of the low rise units seem to be much older. I can not vouch for their interiors.
Our friends were mildly interested in doing the timeshare “tour,” but (now this is hard to believe) when I called to book one for them, no one returned my call. They were showing condos to hordes of other people, but we couldn’t connect with the sales office!
On Thursday night at 9:00 P.M., I received a phone call from someone in Guest Services who invited me to have breakfast with him in the morn- ing. When I told him it was our last day and that we had prepaid tickets to Cypress Gardens, he said that he only needed fifteen minutes of my time for purposes of inventory. He started to sound very nasty and said that we had to do this, so I suggested we meet later on Friday, but he replied that he was off for the weekend effective Friday noon. He had one option to offer at the last minute. I hung up!
So where does all this lead? One would be hard pressed to find a nicer accommodation just about anywhere in the world. Complimentary breakfast was a lovely touch, and maintenance was excellent. But things did look sleazy around the edges and for sheer size it was overwhelming. We had agreat time, but have no desire to re- turn.
Editors note: Many subscribers have reported that the “inventory” meeting at Westgate resorts turns out to be a meeting with a salesman.
Getting crabbier with age?
By Arthur and Mary Lou Lowell, Webster Groves, MO We have been doing timeshare for about ten years and have enjoyed it. Each year as we start planning the year and call RCI we more and more are told “everything is booked.”
We have been dying for several weeks to book something basically east of the Mississippi River. This was one of the benefits the sellers of timeshare pushed: book early and get your choice of locations. We were told we need to book a year or two ahead. That is not easy or practical, even for retirees.
Then the big push for “points came along. The reason was for “more and better flexibility and priority.” We fi- nally succumbed to the “marvelous point system” that gives you better “trading power.” Humbug! The prom- ise of more “affiliates” with Fairfield has not really developed.
For 2002, we have already tried for Santa Fe in October; no luck. We have tried Wisconsin (Sister Bay) and that area; all booked. We have tried the east coast, Virginia to South Caro- lina; no luck. We are trying to be flex- ible but no luck!
tion. We all paid a large amount for our timeshare and that was OK. We just want to be able to use it within the scope of use they touted when they were giving us the sales pitch.
Maybe it is time for the owners, throughout the United States, to band together in a class action suit to get what we were promised. That may sound strange, but all we want is what we paid dearly for, and were prom- ised, in the first place.
We “own” two 2-bed room, 2-bath units and end up in a one bedroom or studio. We have yet to use up our points and end up convening to fixed weeks at the end of the year. Our ac- cumulation of weeks is growing, even though we use two or three weeks a year because we cannot find a week, to book. On the other hand, we arrive at a resort and usually find several va- cant units. Were these being held back as rentals and there were no renters?
We own an October week at Or- lando International Resort in Orlando. A fine condo in the right place. We fight the touted system each year to bank early, but they cannot get the next year’s maintenance fees figured until January and you cannot bank until they set the fees and you pay. In the past, I have phoned the resort for the fees but am told “we have not set them yet.” If you have not paid them, you cannot do business with RCI!
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Enter to “Win an RCI Bonus Week” Drawing held monthly
We realize if owners do not bank, we cannot book. However, it gets more difficult each year to book a week.
Visit us online www.advantagevacation.com
The industry needs to provide us with nice facilities at a reasonable price and enable us to use their exchange programs as advertised. A week in a hotel is not what we want for vaca-
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